Two Poems
H. K. Rainey


Four.

I find you in the bud and in the tendril. Your end is the withered leaf.
I can say with certainty that you are the beginning and the end of leaves.

You fall upon the motionless ground. You dissolve in the mouths of worms.
So I write you as the ending of the vine and the beginning of the beginning of the root.

You perch on the crest of the jay and take pleasure in the call of the killdeer.
You steal from all the other birds; a feigned death call above an unbroken wing.

I hear you in the laugh of the crow and in his envy for all shining treasures.
So I write you as a murderer and place your feathers in dreamcatchers.

You are the forager and the ruminant. You make your home on hills and in valleys.
The reapers are in awe of all you have gathered unto yourself.

You are latitude and longitude and you are the center of the crust.
I walk the ups and downs of earth to hide from your inevitable eruption.

I find you in the bud and in the tendril. Your end is the withered leaf.
I can say with clarity that you are the beginning and the end
of leaves.




Six.

You are the depth below the depth
and the height above the highest.

You are trapped in all the pearls
of water upon the glass.

You are the crest of the wave
and the speck of amber in the bluest eye.

You see everything.
the ant ascending the blade is not hidden from you.

You crush the flea between the tips of your fingers
saying not that I am the flea.

You are the last breath
and you are the grave.

You are the sapling
and you are the buried bones.

I come to the lamp
and to the tendril.

I circle the glow
and creep across all structures.

I seek you all the evening in ghostly fingers of light
until the waning of the moon

because you devour all our paths
and cover all our monuments.



H.K. Rainey received her Master of Fine Arts from Mills College in Oakland, California. She is the author of “Memory House” and “Sotto Voce” and was two-time poetry editor of the literary journal, 580 Split. Her work has appeared in Jacket Magazine, the Sand Canyon Review, deadpaper, and the anthologies “Word Trips: Poems from the First Coast” and “So Speak Up!” Presently, she lives in Oakland with her ghost cat.